Touché November 11, 2016
Posted on November 11, 2016 by under Touché,


What About When Love Doesn’t Win?

“Above all, maintain constant love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins.”                                                                                                                                        (1 Peter 4:8)

One of the last times I was with Jeff Munroe was in the Trump Tower in Chicago on Memorial Day.  A generous donor to Western Seminary offered his 86th floor apartment to our group of four who were celebrating our graduation from seminary thirty years ago.  I never fathomed that the man who owned the building would actually be the Republican nominee and, even more so, I never imagined that we would be calling him Mr. President.  A lot has happened from Memorial Day to Veterans Day.

As I left the library after voting on Tuesday, a Trump supporter pulled in.  He had his “Make America Great Again” hat on.  I imagined pastor Ralph Perdue, a poll worker, would make him take it off as required by law, but as I pulled out I read his bumper sticker:  with a picture of Trump imposed over an American flag were written the words “F*** Your Feelings.” (The bumper sticker used letters not asterisks.)  I was shocked and saddened that in my country we had come to the point that people were comfortable, and I imagine proud, to drive around with such an offensive message exposed to young and old as a sign of their anger.

The poll numbers say that 81% of “evangelical” Christians voted for Trump.  I can only imagine that is true as I returned to church and had conversations with folks here who supported Trump.  I hope and pray that it was more a vote against Hillary than it was a vote for Trump, as the things he has said and done are as shocking as the bumper sticker on that car in the library.

I am not preaching this Sunday.  I invited Jeff Munroe, my classmate from Western Seminary, to preach here as one who is key in training next generation leaders for the church.  When the invitation went out, I did not think that it would be the Sunday after the election and a church would be discerning how we handle the new world we woke up to on Wednesday morning.  He sent me his title weeks ago: “What About When Love Doesn’t Win?”  I knew his text was the Prodigal Son story, so I called and asked where he was going with his title.  He said: “It has nothing to do with the election. Basically I am saying that when love doesn’t win, you keep loving.”  His message is the gospel that applies to any Sunday, and any day.  It is the way we move forward as a church, as a community and as a nation.  I am glad he is preaching.

The Marist flute choir will play in the second service.  Breaking the Silence will play in the first service.  Stephanie Reynolds will be inviting people to love by supporting a child through the Compassion organization.  Our worship of God will continue and our love will be lifted up and out.  We are all in this together.

In Christ,